At the first of the year, for a few years now, Chris Brogan has inspired me to think of and post three words that I want to strive to define the new year by. I had to think about it a bit more than usual this year as so many things have threaded through my life in the last few months making me question really where I want to go next. It's been a bit of a challenge, but I like challenges and am ready to meet 2012 with the feistiness it deserves. Flow, Insight, Commitment.
There is a common thread running through each of the things that I do professionally. There are many strands that bubble to the top when I try to give voice to answer the question, "What do you do?" This past year I've been feeling very stuck in the seemingly chaotic whirlpool of non-direction. I would like to harness that energy and transform it into something that hits all my sweet spots in terms of skill.
As I did some contract work for WhatCounts, I had to utilize many skills from different skill sets to fill a marketing manager position. This ranged from extremely technical (involving WP, CSS, analytics, etc) to communications (email, newsletters, blog posts, etc).
It pointed out the need to me to gain a sense of direction that comes from using those skills to help *a* company reach their goals. While I can do that on a bigger scale now, my brain is calling for a single endeavor to put my heart behind. I haven't yet decided WHAT that is exactly. My goal is by the end of 2012 (hopefully mid-year at the latest) have that settled and becoming firmly integrated into whatever it may be.
If I look at the chaos, one thing stands out to me, each of the things I want to learn about and understand will give me better insight into the way things work. My curious nature is what pushes me to learn new things and use that knowledge to help others. It's a wonderful thing as I approach new things and ideas not only with an open mind, but a sense of excitement. The puzzles teach me something new that I can use to help others succeed using my skills.
The question for me is, can I find a place that have puzzles to solve and can use my skills to help?
I see the need and desire to shape the next steps in the new year with flow and insight. Something that will help me do is to practice commitment. Not in the sense of being married to the outcome, but in the sense of committing to a punch. I need to be all in, understanding my skills, understanding the chaos and finding the insights to move forward. Committing entirely so that I lose myself in the processes and stop over thinking the outcomes.
All in all, 2011 wasn't that bad. I learned some interesting things about myself. I challenged my strength. I started running (and love it). I worked part time while maintaining my consulting business. I became an editor of book. I learned that I have limits in what I can achieve in one day and in one week. I traveled a bit more (and love it).
And finally, as you go through your own three words for the year, try to remember that the course may change and that's okay. You may discover an entirely different path...and that's okay too. The key is to end 2012 looking back at how much you've grown and being proud of how you get there.